Chris Stapleton Didn’t “Lay off the Whiskey” at Recent Nashville Concerts

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Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton won a plethora of awards in 2016, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year (Source: Taste of Country)

What does Chris Stapleton have left to prove? From the ACM alone this year, he won Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, New Male Vocalist of the Year, and Male Vocalist of the Year.

But he doesn’t let those awards get to his ego or his drive to be the best.

On October 14 and 15, he played shows at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville and held nothing back.

On the second of the two nights, Brent Cobb opened for Stapleton

“I’m a little bit overwhelmed tonight, thank you for showing up early,” Cobb said to the crowd.

He played a solid set of songs to get people warmed up for what was coming. And as you would expect, the crowd went wild when it was Stapleton’s turn. 

“How you doing Nashville?” he asked the crowd. “I think we should take a drink … let’s take us a drink!”

Thus began the party. From the opening song, people were drinking, dancing, and enjoying that classic country sound of music.

After the third song, Stapleton asked where his whiskey drinkers were in the crowd while hoisting a toast. He then continued the music, singing the Male Vocalist of the Year should.

Chris Stapleton
Stapleton said Merle Haggard had sent a joint to his tour bus in 2015 (photo from SFJazz)

Right around the time he played “I Might As Well Get Stoned,” he recalled doing a show with the late Merle Haggard in 2015.

“I didn’t get to meet him, but he sent a joint to the bus — I still have it,” Stapleton said. With that, the audience screamed out of laughter and excitement.

Stapleton’s wife, Morgane, even joined the party. She stepped into the spotlight and sang the old classic “You Are My Sunshine.” She’s good enough to be a solo artist, so why isn’t she? Maybe it’s because her voice blends so well with her husband’s that they make a much more powerful team.

Before Chris Stapleton launched into “Traveller,” the title track of his album, he explained how the inspiration for the song came during a desert trip at sunrise.

“What a treat this is to get to play for you all tonight, what a dream come true,” he said. 

To end the night, Stapleton sang his hit “Tennessee Whiskey,” then joked, “I probably ought to lay off the Tennessee Whiskey.”

But of course, he didn’t lay off the whiskey that night. His encore song was “Whiskey and You.”

“I spent years playing for six of y’all, so those six — I thank you!” he said as he readied to leave the stage. “I played at the Basement for a while for a $5 cover charge … that was a good time. This is a great time. Thank you!”

What will Stapleton do next? Has he peaked? Can he continue to perform as well as he has? 

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